Nashville Eats

Nashville has been easing its way into the food scene for a fews years now, and it’s quickly becoming the go-to spot for foodies. Some of the best chefs have been moving to our city and  opening noteworthy restaurants serving unique culinary masterpieces. With so many neighborhoods, cuisines and different styles of food to choose from, the most challenging part of eating in Nashville can be choosing where to go. Listed below are a few places you may have not heard of, and what, in my opinion, are the best items on the menu. Ranging from brunch, to dinner, to dessert: here are some of the best, worth the time and money to make a visit:

Cafe Roze for Breakfast / Brunch – East Nashville (115 Porter Road)

An interior with shades of pink, florals and beautiful marble countertops as well as a unique and exceptional menu, Cafe Roze coins itself as an all day cafe. It’s located right off of Porter Road in the quickly developing area of East Nashville. Serving Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, there is something here for everyone at any time of day. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 8am to Midnight and Sunday from 8am to 10pm. Three things that are a must on the menu are Savory Oats, described as a “pillow in your mouth,”  – combines oats and spices for a savory, warm and filling meal. Top with a poached egg! Also, the Stout Waffles and Roze Bowl are also great options if you’re feeling a little less adventurous.

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden for Lunch / Dinner in East Nashville

If you’ve ever read a list online of “top trending places to eat in Nashville,” The Pharmacy is always on the list, but for good reason. The choice is simple, whether you’re craving a burger and fries, or you just don’t know where to go, the Pharmacy is your place. A few tips, get there for an early dinner if you plan on going in the evening. Going from 5-7pm, you could risk waiting for at least an hour.  If you arrive at either 4pm or 8pm – you’re golden. On the menu, their bratwurst is delicious, juicy and cooked perfectly, but my favorite is the Farm burger with sweet potato fries. Yes, there is an egg and bacon on the burger. This may sound odd, but it’s worth every bite.

Rolf and Daughters for dinner in Germantown

Described as an industrial-chic restaurant, Rolf and Daughters serves New American dishes, offers communal tables & has a cocktail menu that is nothing short of spectacular. The shining star on their menu is the Garganelli verde. (pictured above) It’s a handmade pasta with pork ragout and parmesano. The pork is always tender, the noodles cooked perfectly every time, and it feels like elevated comfort food. The best part, their pasta is handmade every single day. The garganelli verde is the only pasta that’s never rotated out of their menu — it’s their best selling dish. For a non-foodie, the names of dishes can be kind of intimidating, but the staff is so kind and patient.  Ask about any dish – this is the place to try something new!

Nicky’s Coal Fired Pizza for lunch or dinner in The Nations

The Nations is a new area of town, located in West Nashville full of restaurants, shops and cute neighborhoods. Nicky’s Coal Fired Pizza is serving up fresh pizzas, delicious charcuterie boards and a large selection of wine, beer and house made cocktails. From the Di Forno portion of the menu, the porchetta and baby octopus are great starters, to ease into your meal. Then, from the pizza menu, #3 and #5 are excellent red-based pizzas and the #3 white-based pizza is also wonderful if you’re not feeling a traditional red sauce.

KOKOS Ice Cream for dessert or a snack in East Nashville

KOKOS ice cream is Nashville’s locally made dairy free, plant-based, nut free, ice cream company. Even if you aren’t dairy free or sensitive to regular ice cream, Koko’s is definitely worth a visit (or two.) Their coconut based ice cream is fluffy and creamy, with traditional and unique flavors. They recently opened a store on Porter Road in East Nashville, with several shops and restaurants surrounding it for a fun and sunny afternoon. My flavor suggestions: mint chip and cuban dark roast.

(Note: I do not own these photos)

Preparing Your Home for the Market

Thinking of selling your home this year? Here are some things to consider as you begin to prepare your home for the market.

Are you considering selling your home this summer? The warmer weather will be here before you know it, and with it, lots of buyers looking for new properties. If you want your home to sell quickly and for the most money, use the days leading up to your deadline to your advantage. Create a thoughtful to-do list and tackle one item at a time so the process is not overwhelming.

Here are 5 tips to help you prepare your home with minimum stress:

1. Objective advice is key. Meet with a realtor or stager to get some professional advice on where to best spend your time and effort. A set of fresh eyes are important, especially if you’ve lived in your home for more than 3 years. Outside advice may bring up things that you have not considered. We all get used to things we live with, a buyer may take issue with something we see everyday. Keep in mind that the home you live in is different than the home you are presenting to the market.

2. Repairs? Schedule them as soon as possible, because chances are, if you are aware of something that is not in proper working order, a buyer’s inspection will catch it. Save yourself time, money and stress by scheduling those fixes in advance. Walk the property as you are preparing to sell your home, and tackle any repairs or clean up you may have been putting off.

3. Set goals to purge two times each month. One of the most impactful things you can do costs nothing but time. Ask yourself if you actually need or use a particular item? If the answer is no, then do you want to pay someone to move it? Extra furnishings can find their way into your house because someone gave them away or you just never took the time to sell them. Having these extra items in the house can make it feel smaller and sometimes older than it actually is. Removing clutter, taking down walls full of photos and extra decor will allow a buyer to actually see the product you are selling — the house! Remember, less is more. The house may look amazing and be completely your style with all the decor, but in order to sell the house, you want a buyer to be able to imagine themselves (and their style) in the home. Accomplishing this is almost impossible if every inch is full of furniture and taste specific decorative items. Doing this early on will only save you time and money when the moving truck arrives.

4. A simple, cost effective way to add new life to a home is fresh paint. If there are walls that were covered in a rich, deep color years ago, it may be time to freshen things up with a lighter color to provide a new perspective. If you’re having trouble deciding on what color to choose, neutral grays, whites and beiges are a safe choice and great starting point. Some of my favorite neutral colors are: Benjamin Moore’s Swiss coffee (Oc-45), Revere Pewter ( HC-172) and Manchester Tan (HC-81) as well as Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige (SW7036), and Alabaster (7008).

5. Finally, remember that first impressions mean a lot – so don’t forget to spruce up the front entry. If the porch is unkept and the front door is covered in scratches, it will make the potential buyer wonder what other repairs need to be addressed in the home. A great way to approach the front of the house is as if you have never seen it before. Ask yourself questions like, is there anything that stands out? Do the trees or bushes need to be trimmed? How does the lawn look? This is your chance to say, “Welcome home!’ to your potential buyers.

4 Things to Do in Nashville During the Holidays

From the sparkling Christmas lights to holiday menus popping up around the Nashville area, it can be so hard to choose from the all the activities. Whether you have a family, or you’re hoping to get in the holiday spirit with friends, here are a few of my favorite things to do in Nashville and Franklin this time of year.

1. Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center Hotel Lights: This will quickly turn into a family tradition. There is something so mesmerizing about walking around the Opryland Hotel and admiring the thousands of lights displayed for the holidays. Not to mention ICE, the restaurants and the mall close by. You can easily spend an entire evening here.

2. Downtown Franklin is one of America’s favorite small towns. Hosting a variety of quaint shops, boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops, a few hours spent here is never enough. Start off your morning with brunch at 55 South, then over to some shops on Main Street such as Imago Dei, a women’s clothing boutique and the The Shoppes on Main for a variety of local art and craft vendors. If you need a break, grab coffee at Frothy Monkey. Quick dinner options include Frothy Monkey, or for something more upscale try GRAYS On Main or Red Pony Restaurant. No choice will leave you hungry!

3. Shows at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center: If you haven’t been to the symphony in a few years or you just want to do something different, a date night or family night to enjoy some music is an absolute must this holiday season. The holiday classic movie Home Alone is playing this week with the Nashville Symphony as well as an Irish Christmas, and much more. Check out the variety of shows to see this December and January here:

4. Food, Coffee & Drinks at Pinewood Nashville: This is a one-stop shop for delicious apps, entrees, cocktails, and/or after dinner coffee and dessert. Not to mention the beautiful bowling alley if you’re feeling competitive. If you’re roaming downtown and need a warm place to get dinner or just relax for a few hours, Pinewood is the place to visit.. Check out their website for their amazing menu and location: